Do You Need a Man to Make More Money Than You? If So, Why?

Do You Need a Man to Make More Money Than You

My amazing intern forwarded me an article last week that she read on CNN with some not-so-surprising new statistics.

In 2007, 22% of couples showed the woman making more money than the man. That’s up from 4% in 1970.

In this recession, 4.7 million men lost their jobs, compared with 2 million women, thus leaving more women to be the primary breadwinners.

The article points out what I’ve observed previously: the issue these days isn’t so much that the male schoolteacher is “intimidated” by the high-paid female advertising executive (there are some, but you don’t want them anyway), but rather that the high-paid ad exec refuses to date the schoolteacher.

But why is this the case in 2010?

Isn’t the point of being independently wealthy so that you can do what you want, when you want?

Doesn’t the value of being self-sufficient come in not having to worry about someone supporting you?

If you’re a woman who is in the top 10% of earners – and you INSIST that your man out earn you – you’ve now eliminated 90% of the dating population.

For a self-sufficient, high-earning man, a woman’s earning potential carries very little weight. Why? Because we have always been taught that nobody is going to pay our way in life. This gives men the freedom to choose a partner based on what matters most – character, kindness, fun, humor, compatibility – as opposed to mere earning potential. That’s the FREEDOM of making more money.

So why do women treat being high-earners like it’s a curse? “If I make $200,000, then he has to make AT LEAST $200,000.”

I’ve never heard a man say the same thing.

Face it: if you’re a woman who is in the top 10% of earners – and you INSIST that your man out earn you – you’ve now eliminated 90% of the dating population. And that’s before you’ve considered kindness, compatibility, attraction, values, height, weight, age, humor, children, etc. Doesn’t that sound like a self-defeating edict? I’ll say. Which is – in my estimation – one of the main reasons it’s easier for men to find love. We’re not looking at you to support us because we can support ourselves, so we’re free to choose whomever we want.

The question remains: if you can support yourself as well as any man can support himself, what DIFFERENCE does it make what he earns? Why is your boyfriend, the guitarist, “bad husband potential” when his girlfriend, the painter, is just “his girlfriend?” Haven’t we evolved enough to true equality that it doesn’t matter who makes more as long as the couple as a unit is doing okay? Or are women stuck on the old world order where men provided and women took care of the home – even though most $200,000 earning women don’t want to be homemakers? Do women want it both ways? Do you want the option of quitting work and maintaining your high lifestyle, when men don’t have this option? If so, is this the rare double-standard that works in favor of women?

Frankly, I think that successful women holding out for more successful men is as counterproductive as wealthy men doing the same thing – which, as you might have notice, they don’t.

I would love your thoughts on whether women should continue to hold out for men who make more – with these two caveats:

1) Please don’t accuse me of being sexist for making the observation that most women want a man to outearn them. It’s an observation, not a judgment.

2) Please don’t accuse me of encouraging women to date deadbeat slackers with no money, no ambition and tons of credit card debt. It’s not all or nothing. Just as I say you can compromise on chemistry – from a 10 to a 7 – I’m simply wondering aloud why a woman with her own money can’t date a man who makes $45K, the exact same way a man with his own money can date a woman who makes $45K.

Join our conversation (477 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    I find many men are uncomfortable when they find out that I make more money than they do.   It doesn’t bother me if they make less, so long as they can carrytheir own weight; ie, child support payments, car loan, an appropriate proportion of “our” expenses, etc.

    In the same vein,I’ve had men grow uncomfortable when they realize that I am a year or two older than they are. I’d think that at this   stage of life (late 50s) a year or two (or 10) hardly matters.

    1. 1.1

      “It doesn’t bother me if they make less, so long as they can carrytheir own weight; ie, child support payments”

      You’ve got to be kidding me.   Already trying to figure out how much a man will pay you when you met him and learn what his earning are…. Fking women…  

      1. 1.1.1

        @Jason  since she mentioned she was in her late 50’s I’m pretty sure she meant child support payments for children from PREVIOUS relationships. As in, she doesn’t want to be stuck paying for children that aren’t even hers.

        1. G

          Men do it everyday. We fall in love with a single mother and once we marry her we have to begin footing   the bill for Her children by another man. Heck many expect   us to do so before   we even   marry them. And frankly   if we love her , we do.   Everyday. Sorry   just needed that said. And btw if the kids don’t like us we’re   screwed.

        2. Grace

          @Jason. I think she’s referring to the monthly child support obligations to the ex.

      2. 1.1.2

        My wife makes close to 200k a year. I make half that and I constantly hear how I need to make more money. My job is more stable than hers and she has been laid off twice in the past as well. During those times my job was the safety net for our family. We make more than enough money to be comfortable, yet I’m always being reminded that I need to make more. I can feel the resentment from her, but I like my job and have no desire to look for another. It makes me feel like shit and I really feel like women like to power play most men. Even if I made more she would find something else to complain about, which she also does. I see the comments about pulling your own weight. What bullshit, in a marriage your a team, if you’re constantly comparing your financial worth you’re never going to be satisfied in life. Women want equality without any downside. Maybe I should divorce her so then she can pay me so our earnings will be more equal.

        1. Sparkling Emerald

          You should break up w/her because she sounds like hell to live with. NAWALT.

        2. Malanie

          You should absolutely divorce her.   She sounds like a horrible little creature.

          Honestly, you’ll be far happier with a woman who makes half as much as *you* do (or nothing at all).

          Let her be old and single with her fat salary.  

        3. JC

          @ Chris

          This is exactly what I’m going through but we both earn less. First it’s not enough money, then it’s not enough time, then it’s something else. It never ends. I told her, if I was an ER doctor, she still wouldn’t be happy. I’d make more, but be on call and work long hours Etc. smh.  
          If I go and get a second job/gig, then I’m not around enough. No quality time. They want it all. Period.  
          This is not equality, this is “The Obsolete Man” or Irrelevant for that matter. Just look at Family Court. Us, Men/Fathers are irrelevant. Wake up.  

        4. Momo2

          I always wonder how relationships like this start. What was the situation when you guys started dating and got married?

        5. shana



          weird shes making making more $ & complaining about her annoyances with you.   i dont get it!

        6. usa2elsewhere

          You haven’t said why you need to make more since you’re both comfortable and your employment seems equal since your income is half but hers is less secure.

      3. 1.1.3

        I supported my man for many years because he chose to walk dogs for a living while I was the main bread winner. When I lost my job it is no surprise that he left. The money and haute lifestyle ran out, and so did he. I will never again date another man with little income.

        1. jamesmn


          Please dont fee that way, you example is extreme and unfair.   Barley any income vs the avg 40 to 60k guy.



      4. 1.1.4

        Basically what she is saying is that as a man you have to have money to be with her because the is no way you can fulfill all those responsibilities she mentioned without having your own money.

      5. 1.1.5

        Duh, Jason, Judith was referring to a man’s being able to carry his own weight, i.e. making his own child support payments to his ex-wife for children he already has instead of being a dead-beat or a bum (or expecting her to pay his child support payments for him).   She’s not trying to figure out how much he will pay her in case they have a child.   What a tasteless insult directed toward women–and this from a misogynist who can’t even correctly interpret a sentence.

        1. Joanna

          @Jason…….you’re super smart 😉

      6. 1.1.6

        I find your moment offensive. Fking men is what I think when I read your note.

        The woman who wrote that comment in her 50’s is likely meeting men with children,   why should she support another man’s kids? I would not want to have anything to do with an otherwise dead-beat Dad who couldn’t support his kids. At 50, she’s likely thinking of retirement and her,   yes her,   concerns should trump his from his previous life.   That is his concern. Any dude expecting to marry a woman and have her support children from previous relationships is a loser.

        1. bob j

          What about any woman who is struggling to support her kids? Should other men refuse to help her support her kids? Is any woman expecting to marry a man and have him support children from previous relationships a loser?

        2. james

          So then women who expect men to look after their kids aren’t fucking losers either? It’s pathetic how all these feminists are calling guys deadbeats and losers get we never hear the same about women who want to stay at home or who rely on their man. Women like this are TRASH. A relationship is about helping eachother out and being a team.

      7. 1.1.7

        She probably means child support for past marriages. Making more money than a man isn’t bad, but we don’t want to pay for his children with his ex because he isn’t carrying his weight.

    2. 1.2

      Age has nothing to do with it I’m in my 40s   I would date or even married an 60 year old if she made more money than me so be it, I’m not attracted to her money!it’s all about her!

    3. 1.3

      I think a woman just wants to know that she isn’t going to have to be the man in the relationship.   Pay ALL the bills ALL the time and do all the “girl” stuff in the relationship too.   It doesn’t sound like much of a deal for her if she has to do everything herself and he is just there because she thinks he is wonderful.   I also think men don’t like that.   I am dating a guy who makes less than I make. I know it bothers him. He works extra hours because he wants to make sure he has money to take me out and buy me things, etc, so he can feel like the man in the relationship.   I like that about him. I think that is good.   I am a regular working person, I don’t make tons of money.   If I was a millionaire, I would date a thousandaire.   lol.   I probably wouldn’t date a school teacher or someone “regular” because I know I would grow resentful of always doing “regular” stuff or paying for the things I want to do because they are out of reach for his finances.

      I think it is base line and reasonable to expect a man to be able to provide his own basics, child support, car note, etc. That isn’t broke, that is the basics. If I am a millionaire should I have to pay for your basics? Things you should have covered as an adult when you met me anyway?   I don’t think so.

      How do regular guys meet women who are millionaires anyway?   I think she is more likely to be around other wealthy people and if he is less rich than her, I don’t think that is a problem as long as he can hold his own and she is comfortable with the level of life he has to offer her.   As a woman, if I don’t feel comfortable with the environment, we have a problem and that may not be about money.   It may be more about access to things you can get without money.

      I think men and women are wired for different functions so to say that a woman is looking for the same thing in a mate is a flawed premise.   When I am home on maternity leave, I need to know my husband can take care of our family financial because I am not working and won’t be for a couple of months.   Women need security from a man to feel good about him long term. In our modern society security means money. I get it that if I make 200K a year, it is crae to look only at men who make more than that, but I would be less likely to even be around the school teacher who makes 45K and I would probably be looking for a man who made more than that working in another industry.   That doesn’t mean I would only date men who made more than me, just more than 45K.   I don’t see anything wrong with wanting the security of having two people who make a good amount of money so that you can hopefully keep your life style stable between the two of you.

      1. 1.3.1

        @Carmela, WOMEN WAKE UP! The question is, would I wanna date a woman who will constantly talk to me about money, the little things she is unhappy about but she must get over and move on with her life? NO!

      2. 1.3.2

        “If I am a millionaire should I have to pay for your basics?”

        To me, the rest of your comment sound pretty reasonable but I think this “line” is literally the main topic the article is addressing. When guys are well off, they don’t generally care whether the woman is able to pay for their basics or not. They want to simply take care of the woman fully. I think for women, everything needs to “even out” in their mind. I think it’s similar to guys being very open to buying a round of beer for their buddies without really thinking about the numbers whereas women  might want to calculate who owes who how much.

      3. 1.3.3

        I totally agree Carmela.

        Men have always been the family providers, and even if nowadays they partially share this responsability with a woman, it doesn’t mean they are not supposed to accomplish that anymore. Women will always want to feel protection and security from a man, and men will always want to feel like they protect their woman. Equality is about rights and not about changing the genre’s DNA programming. That’s why  men continue to want a feminine woman, not a she-man. If the differences in income between two parterners are too big, the man will become frustrated, emasculated and useless. That’s not something any of them wants.

        1. Mandy


          Men feel like “men” when they can provide, that’s the way it works best. Women can work make money but if she losers her job she wants to know the man can provide. I made more money than my ex husband and I will never date a guy that can’t support me or spoil me again. May sound selfish but I don’t care I want to be taken care of and treated like a queen not because I need anyone to take care of me but because he wants to. In turn I will feel good and I will treat him like a king because he is.

      4. 1.3.4


      5. 1.3.5

        The man should not have to pay for dates just bec he’s a man.   It should also depend on income compared to needed expenses and how ambitious each person is.    In other words lazy people should not get off paying less than their fair share.

    4. 1.4

      I totally agree – he either stands up or sits down, otherwise   Whatever he can do, I can do as well and I do not need him.

      If he is the man then he should be up for it and his responsibilities

    5. 1.5

      Hi Judith,

      Thanks for your reply. I am trying to clarify my thinking and feelings on this subject now that  I am much older (66) single woman. You said it perfectly for me!

      I have plenty of money but I feel weird about “footing the bill” for a guy. I think I need to change my mind…but to what degree is my question.


      1. 1.5.1

        I hate paying for men, unless it’s his bday or I’m suddenly splurging for some special occasion. It makes him seem less manly in my eyes and I feel less like a woman.

    6. 1.6

      Dryly put, knowing the statistics may also be a reason men are uncomfortable.

      I have also been in that situation once and received a few remarks about earning less. If you know that is something you may be judged on, then of course you cool a bit.

    7. 1.7
      Yet Another Guy


      If age gap does not matter at your age, how come you are not dating men ten years your senior instead of targeting men your junior? The cold hard truth is that most men prefer to be the older party in a relationship. Not all men are wired this way, but the majority of men have been conditioned to date women their junior since they were in high school, and that conditioning came from women.

  2. 2

    As a woman, holding out for a man who makes/has more money than you do is not the wisest of strategies. Just because a guy has lots of dough doesn’t mean that you will be getting any of it!
    “Rich” means diddle if he is “Rich and Selfish” (and – by the way – there are many people who became “rich” because they were selfish & didn’t share & kept all their pennies to themselves).

    1. 2.1

      True that….

  3. 3

    Well, I don’t think salary really matters, except in the extreme circumstances.   There is nothing wrong with a woman who makes her own money dating a great guy who makes $45k.   However, if the woman was pulling in $200k, and the guy was only making $45k, I think it might end up being difficult for this man to court his woman in a way that is consistent with her lifestyle.
    The $200k-earning woman probably eats out several nights a week in nice restaurants, wears beautiful clothes, attends many concerts, and goes on weekend getaways where it would not be out of the ordinary to drop $500 or $600.   The $45k earning man could occasionally take his woman out for dinner in a nice restaurant, once a week at best.   Even if the woman were to feel generous and want to cover the expenses for her partner to join her in all the fun, the man might not feel good about relinquishing some of his “masculine power” by not only not paying for his woman, but having his woman pay for him.   This situation might work just fine for some couples, but certainly not for most.
    (Evan, I read “Getting to I Do” per your suggestion, and I have also been reading lots of David Deida, which has really led to me developing my views on issues like this.   I really recommend david Deida’s “The Way of the Superior Man”)

  4. 4

    I don’t think it’s as simple as you make it sound.   It’s similar in my mind to the way  a the typical woman would prefer to be pursued, and the typical man would prefer to be the pursuer, or the typical woman wants her  partner to be taller and the typical man wants to be taller than his partner.   Why?   Biology, evolution, whatever.   It doesn’t really matter.  

    So I don’t think it’s just that women want men who make more money.   It’s also that men WANT to be the one to make more money.   It goes both ways.   (There are exceptions to all the rules, of course…)

    Whey you buck the normal dynamic, things can get weird.   I think that men, who generally want to feel strong and protective and to be in a provider role, tend to feel somewhat inferior to a woman who makes more money, and would prefer not to be in that situation.

    Intellectually, I have no problem with a man making less money than me, but when I have been in that situation (early in my marriage, until I quit my job to stay home with young children) it did set up some awkward dynamics with my ex, as sexist or irrational as it may have been.

    1. 4.1

      Having experienced what you described, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I see a lot of people saying it’s the 21st century   so women should be open to dating men who make less money or men who are struggling. But money and success was linked to the confidence of the lower earning men I dated. I   have been   attracted to men who aren’t in the best financial situation, yet at least knew where they want to be and I admired them for that. Money was never my first concern so I looked at other qualities first. I thought were good people, encouraged them,    and never shoved anything in their face, etc.   However they tend to think so little of themselves, due to their situations, that they felt something was “wrong” with me for liking them. They rather date women who would treat him like crap and take advantage of him.  
      So basically I don’t need a man to make more than me, but the men I attract feel that they should be the higher earner.     From now on, I’m only going to date guys who are   financially stable and make equal or more than me. I   make a decent living but nowhere near 100k so that won’t cut off 90% of men.   Of course his stability could go away at some point once we are together.   I feel that in that dynamic when there’s already a relationship, it would work out with the support from me.   But not when it starts out with him struggling because we haven’t bonded enough yet.

  5. 5

    It’s not necessarily rational, it’s a purely biological urge – just like wanting a man who is physically bigger and stronger.

    1. 5.1

      I agree with Juju. As a woman the main thing I want in a relationship is to be able to feel as a woman. I find it important to be with a strong man epecially in regards to everything which I consider masculine. Making money is masculine for me. Men who make less money then others within their socioeconomic strata are weaker. Women are attractd to alpha males, meaning leader types. A feminine woman wants to be protected and provided for. The man needs to be more powerful so that she can surrender to him and this is what male female attraction is all about. Personally I’m afraid makin money I will no longer be able to find a man who makes more moeny than I do. Also man who make less money than their woman are 4 times more likely to cheat.

      1. 5.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        That study was done on 18-28 year olds. No one should get married at that age anyway.

      2. 5.1.2
        pffffffffb ssss

        wtf, that’s a load of bull crap. “Men who make less money then others within their socioeconomic strata are weaker.”

        yeah okay. Just forget that there are thousands of highly intelligent and creative men that make a lot less than those beady eyed “alpha males”, which by the way these creative/intelligent types are just as good “attraction material” as alpha males are. As humans progress with technology, the strengths of alpha males are less needed, where as scientists and creative people will have a high rise.

      3. 5.1.3

        I am a 63 years old, have been a widow of 3 years.   I have been dating again for the past year, and the men I met who made good money were not nice men.   I just met a man who doesn’t make that much and is unable to help pay for much.   I bring home enough money to support myself very comfortable due to widow benefits from my late husband.   Although this new man in my life isn’t able to help much financially, he is so good to me, respects me, and treats me as all women would love to be treated.   After a 32 year marriage ending suddenly and being so unhappy, but having money, I will take this man who knows how to love a women, over money any day.   So money is important, but the way a man treats you  is so much more important

        1. Mina

          Amen! At 47, I’ve been with the head of a bank and a doctor. Both duds as partners. They ended up being selfish and miserable humans. I am now with a professional guitarist who earns a third of my salary. We had a frank conversation about it and it bothers him because he is alpha,  but he is working through it because what we have is so awesome. At the end of the day, this man is the holy grail of men, strong, sensitive, loving, sexy, smart, driven, protective, fun… everything I’ve ever wanted in a man. Diane is so right, it’s how he treats you and how solid a person he is that matters.

  6. 6

    Again.. we are from the different realities =).
    But I guess it is like a lot of my female friends say, I have a mentality of a man.. more than most men. But I guess I am a woman since I think  Chemistry is _rare_, since most men could be eunuchs for all interest I have in them.
    If   I get no sexual spark from them at all, I don’t bother anymore.
    I don’t care a bit what an interesting man does for his job, nor how much he earns –  He could be a slaughterer for all I care… I only care  that I have working chemistry with him (- and sexual chemistry is an important part of it.)  Simply put – most men are between 0-2, even if their looks are ok. In my world a 7 is   as less than 10% of entire male population (and most of them are already in a relationship).
    A 7 is fine..
    So where do I sign to meet those 7s that you talk so much about? I don’t see them online, I mostly see them only in relationships IRL, but as I don’t poach… =D

  7. 7

    My thoughts…
    1) You are not comparing apples to apples in regards to women and men. You state frequently that the most important aspect to men is physical appearance and it is just a fact. For women, financial stability is often the most important aspect in a man, also just a fact. To say that because men don’t care about how much women earn women should also not care is exactly the same as saying that because women are more likely to compromise on looks for security, men should also.
    2) You are talking about women who make $200,000, which I doubt most of us do. For the rest of us who make a decent middle income wage, we can afford to live a certain standard of living on our own, however, that does not mean we earn enough to provide the same for a man. I can save and go out to eat once in a while and on vacation once a year. But, I cannot also pay for a man’s meal and vacation on my income. If he makes significantly less than I do, it would mean abandoning these things altogether.
    I do date men who make less than I do, but there is a limit. I do not expect a man to support me or provide a lavish lifestyle, but I also do not want to go down on the poverty scale if we were to get married and combine finances.

  8. 8
    Evan Marc Katz

    @Kat – I DO think that men should compromise on looks and am consistently getting on clients to start dating the 7’s instead of the 10’s. Please don’t misrepresent my philosophy.

    @NN – Your out-of-whack standards for sexual chemistry are the cause of all of your woes. Imagine a bell curve where the top 30% of the population (a  “7”)  could be graded in the BOTTOM 20th percentile (0-2). That’s your world. I also predict that if men judged YOU the same way, it would be next to impossible to create a union. Which is exactly what you’re seeing.

    @Lynn – “Even if the woman were to feel generous…?”  Am I feeling generous every single time I go out with my wife? It’s exactly that stance that I’m challenging here. The woman who makes $200K is a martyr for putting up with a $50K man. The man who makes $200K and pays for everything is just a man – and a cheap one if he questions paying for everything the way women are questioning paying for everything here.

    Is this biology? Or have women been socialized to want men to pay for everything, regardless of who has more money?

    1. 8.1

      Evan, Polarity. I am confused….Thru Alison Armstrong and being affiliated with Tony Robbins, I am in tuned to masculine and feminine polarity. Being equally yoked has many facets. This is so relevant to me for I am not looking for someone who makes more than me, but values and attitude of finances and money and wealth are more aligned. After reading much of your material, working with Alison, and a hum dinger of an intervention with Tony at one of his programs, I actually “recycled” a man I let go because he was “too nice”. I realized thru your material, I was looking for love to be “hard” and actually someone with similar values, acceptance, compassion and openness is key. I am 43 and “retired” and he is 55, with a stable career. I make more money than him, live a different lifestyle, but we are compatible on all other areas. He still dreams of starting a business, wants to travel economically, and is ok with us going dutch. My “gatherer” is wondering will he really be able to take care of me. He is so nice, but I can slowly feel myself becoming more and more masculine because he texts long texts, is always so nice and watching his words, and admittedly thinks it is rude to say “I have a nice ass”. On paper, he is great. I have had many relationships where I am the common denominator in their failures. I want to be “owned” as David Deida speaks of in his material. The money is not the issue, it is the fact that I truly believe he is nice, he will always let me have my way, not challenge me, pull my hair and “take me”, always say “you have a great bum”, when “you have a great ass”, and I will lose respect for him. Is there something wrong with when a woman tests (Tony speak), he assures her he is her man? I understand now the masculine/feminine energy so well now. Am I doomed to ever think I can be like Sandra Bullock in the Blind Side, with a man who adored her and let her fly, but was THE MAN who would reel her in when she was over her skies?

      1. 8.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        I normally don’t take questions here (all comments should be about the original post), but wanted to reply briefly.

        Okay, Simone. Dump your nice boyfriend who doesn’t “take” you and pull your hair. Let me know your batting average on men who do so. I would guess that it’s .000 – otherwise you wouldn’t be seeing this guy or writing to me.

        So is there something “wrong” when a woman tests a man? I’ll say. Test your boyfriend and he’ll let you have your way because he wants to please you. Test a guy like me – to see if he can be “the man” – and I’ll dump you faster than you could possibly imagine. Because I don’t want a girlfriend who tests me, a girlfriend I have to reel in or dominate. I want someone who makes my life better and easier. You seem to think that a relationship should be perpetually challenging; I firmly disagree. Good luck to you either way.

        1. JC

          Amen brother!
          Thats how I feel. The tests get old real fast. I just got out of a 3 year relationship, due to these issues. I didn’t earn enough. Things would be great, but then I’d get tossed a “curveball of a Test” out of nowhere too often. Which would often result in me getting a silent treatments…for hours. This is abusive. It hurt to feel like I did something wrong or that she resented me. Now, I can’t even think of dating again because I have this stigma of the “weaker beta-male” hanging over me. Thanks ladies (thumbs up)

        2. Linda

          Wow. There are some really mean things said on here. I’m 58, dating a kind, adoring, funny, good natured guy. He accepts me for who I am. He just turned 65. He works on commission. I have been completely supporting him for the past 2 years. Have I felt resentment? Oh, for sure! Has it created some financial pressure on me that I don’t want? Certainly. But when his commission comes in later this year, it will he twice what I make in a year. When he is resourced like that, then I’ll see how things are. I almost broke up with him a month or so ago. Over this polarity thing. Impatience. Blah blah blah, and so on.
          So…what about love? What about how I have never ever felt so cared for, so consistently. And neither has he. That matters. I’m playing the long game. I can support myself financially. But at night when he holds me, well it sure beats a bed full of pillows…and a dog with bad breath….

    2. 8.2

      I think the strongest evidence that this is largely socialisation is that, in many parts of the world, sharing expenses is no big deal. I would actually feel very strange if a man paid for everything. The first date or two it feels nice to be treated, but ongoing, I think taking it in turns is the way to go. And I get a lot of pleasure from planning a way to treat a partner. Men enjoy being made to feel special too!

  9. 9

    It is a biological thing – women are biologically programmed to seek security which a man can provide. Children are an important factor and they will need the man to provide for them (and for some time the woman as well while she’s nursing the baby).
    There are still gender stereotypes that the man has to take the upper hand.
    I do not care how much the man makes (as long as it’s legal and he can pay his part of the bills and can afford to travel once in a while). But it is still worrisome what he might think about the fact that I made more and how that would make him feel. And since I do have that freedom of not caring about his income, I also have the freedom to choose based on other criteria – looks and youth.

  10. 10

    A single woman that earns $200,000 a year?…..there must  be a very, very, small pool of them in existence……  

    1. 10.1

      You’d be surprised.   There are quite a few of them.     I’ve met several from OLD.

  11. 11

    But 7s are still attractive no? Is a 7 in female looks equal to a man that makes 45k?
    I agree with Kat. You might tell your clients to go for 7s, who are still pretty darn attractive! But you do tell the woman of this blog that men prize good looks and youth and that’s *natural*.
    The thing is that women aren’t beholden to a strict old standard of finding the man that makes the most money. We do pick men on other characterisitcs like character, kindness, fun, humor, compatibility. All the points you said men had the freedom to choose a partner based on are exactly the same points women have the freedom to pick a mate from and do. But earning potential is sometimes as ingrained in women as looks are for men.
    With that said, I’ve personally dated stock brokers to guys that sold appliances. I don’t have an expectation of salary other then he can support himself. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel womanly and nice when a man can and does pay (provide) for things.

  12. 12

    EMK, regarding a “generous” woman, yes, I would consider a woman who paid for a $600 weekend getaway, or a dinner in a *nice* restaurant generous.   I would indeed consider a man who paid for either of those things generous as well.
    I don’t think a high-earning woman would be a martyr for dating a man who could not afford to treat her as often as she might be able to treat him.   However I do think that when men are “not able” to do the treating, that it is often really hard on their self-esteem and identification as the masculine leader in the relationship.
    Please believe that I am not in the gold-digging mode here.   It’s just about the scenario where the waiter drops off the check, the man grabs it first, the woman does the fake reach for her purse and offers, the man says he will happily cover it.

    1. 12.1

      @Lynn Some of us don’t care who pays the cheque. I don’t mind if a woman pays for the cheque. Doing everything and trying to prove to a woman you have everything under control is not how how define my masculinity. I don’t base my self-esteem on being able to take care of everythng. I don’t care if a woman drives a better car than me or if she earns more money than me.

  13. 13

    If you can support yourself as well as any man can support himself, what DIFFERENCE does it make what he earns?
    It shouldn’t.
    Why is your boyfriend, the guitarist, “bad husband potential” when his girlfriend, the painter, is just “his girlfriend?
    Stereotyping? Less appreciation for a male in the Arts? Ingrained, old societal expectations?
    Haven’t we evolved enough to true equality that it doesn’t matter who makes more as long as the couple as a unit is doing okay?
    Maybe not as much as we think and/or maybe more so in some places rather than others. Old habits die hard. Yippee-ki-ay. lol.
    Or are women stuck on the old world order where men provided and women took care of the home — even though most $200,000 earning women don’t want to be homemakers?
    In some facets of society, maybe so. Or most (see above responses).
    Do women want it both ways?
    Thanks to mixed messages, quite possibly.
    Do you want the option of quitting work and maintaining your high lifestyle, when men don’t have this option?
    Not really. I like having my own money to spend without strings attached, so to speak. I like putting money into my savings, too. Plus, I like being busy and I like to work.
    If so, is this the rare double-standard that works in favor of women?
    Whether or not it works for women is debatable. All the guys I’ve dated have paid for meals/activities/etc. The guys I’ve dated have had mediocre to not really stable jobs   Have I offered to pay for my meal? Or cover the tip? Or go dutch? Yes, yes and yes. Does offering to help pay hurt the male ego? Quite possibly. Am I responsible for that? No. However, I’m a b*tch if I don’t care or I’m too “nice” if I do.
    I’ve heard guys complain about women not helping to pay and guys complain that a woman wants to help pay for things. So what’s a woman to do? lol. Perhaps not date idiots is one thing is a start. lol.
    If I want that fancy dress and I have enough money to buy it without going into debt, I’ll buy it. If my partner and I go out to dinner will I offer to help pay? Sure. Growing up and even today, my Dad would/does pay for most things but Mom would/does help with things like the tip. This is probably where I lose out on guys either being offended by my offer to help or taking advantage of my offer. I don’t expect anything in return (well, except maybe a thank you. :op)
    I’m not an ATM but I don’t mind chipping in.

  14. 14

    I do date men who make less than I do, but there is a limit. I do not expect a man to support me or provide a lavish lifestyle, but I also do not want to go down on the poverty scale if we were to get married and combine finances.


    1. 14.1
      J K Monie

      Most men wouldn’t care if dating woman would put them ‘down the poverty scale’. I’d probably draw the line at drug/gambling addict, I wouldn’t even care if she was homeless as long as she had the right attitude/personality and intelligence.

      It would be nice if we evolved a little quicker. I want a women to come up to me and ask if they can take me out for lunch, tell me witty lines, and buy me a drink.


      rather than enhancing human rights it seems we took a step backward when woman fought for the right to work as, even though there was a lot of abuse of power back then, relationships were pretty much 50% 50% . we work, you cook n clean. you tell us you love us, we buy flowers and pay the bills.

      Now you’ve dropped all your roles and men haven’t theres.

      Make a change girls! Buy flowers, pay bills, earn more, be romantic, be spontainous, make us laugh, you get the point. open your eyes to your brainwashed sexism

  15. 15

    @ kat3281: your second argument has a logical fallacy.   You assume that by combining your finances would bring you both to the income level of the less-earning partner.   Au contraire.   Unless one of you quits work entirely to take care of a child (a possibility), you will have a combined income of more than what each of you made before.   Say you make $70k and your man makes $30k.   You get married; you will now have a combined income of $100k.   Not only that, but by combining households, you will have lower expenses than each of you do singly.

  16. 16
    Christie Hartman, PhD

    A woman wanting a high-earning man (i.e. a man who earns more than she does) is analogous to a man wanting a beautiful woman. To answer your question above, Evan – yes, this is a result of good old biology. However, these are only human tendencies, and most people eventually learn to rise above these tendencies and look for LOVE. And, hey, some people learn this lesson the hard way when the rich guy turns out to be a prick or the hot chick turns out to be nuts!

  17. 17
    Lady J

    Men have been raised by the thought of being able to take of their family both financially and physically (protection). The thought has been engrained in them by their family and, most importantly, by  fathers.

      A woman’s father may have raised her with this thought as well while the mother is in full agreement that the woman should find a man who can provide while she takes care of him and the family, while still maintaining a job; as a result, some women expect a man to make more based on her upbringing and what society has dictated as how the quintessential man should be: a provider and protector.
    I’m 27. When I was younger  I would’ve preferred a man make more than me because I didn’t want it to be a cause of stress in the relationship with him possibly feeling insecure about me making more than him. Now I don’t care. I want a happy relationship that leads to marriage, and I just want him to be able to support himself.

  18. 18

    EMK, I’m wondering where you are getting the idea that high-earning women do not want to date women who earn less.  Are you seeing this among your own clients?  The CNN article doesn’t say this, it simply talks about the fact that increasing numbers of women are earning more than their partners, and that both sexes are okay with that.  
    I really don’t know any women who are earning 200k/year anyway, at least not in my own circles. My friends (male and female) are getting laid off, struggling to keep their businesses afloat, having to take pay cuts and unpaid furlough days. I think that’s the reality for most of us these days whether male or female so I’m finding it hard to relate to this post.

  19. 19

    My interpretation of the CNN article wasn’t about how higher paid women won’t date men who earn less. I found the article to be informative and   supportive about how society is beginning to reassess and gradually change its view on this issue.
    During most of my married years, I earned more. At one point, nearly double. Neither of us were the least bit concerned who earned what. We soldiered and celebrated together through our financial ups and downs. Now that I am single and more independent, the opportunity presents itself to revisit this issue.
    In dating, provided that a man is a hard worker, and is capable of supporting himself, and seems financially responsible, it doesn’t concern me if he earns less, and he certainly doesn’t have to earn more. I like taking care of myself. If I were to marry again (exceedingly unlikely though), I would likely want the man to earn about the same as I do. I can assure you ~ it’s not $200K. 😉 I would want to feel like we were equal contributors: he’s not dependent on me and I am not dependent on him, financially speaking. I would also be more selective about owning things together and merging funds.
    I feel that a high-earning man, or any man, is typically not concerned with a woman’s earning power because his first priority and what he’s holding out for is her physical attraction. Emotional attraction becomes his second priority, assuming he wants something more serious. And while it’s still in infancy, some men are quitting their jobs to stay at home to help raise their children because of their wife’s higher income.
    I will leave the answer to your question to those women who earn $200K.

    1. 19.1

      So what do you think about this? I am one of those women who make over 200K and I  have been  dating a man who makes 80k. He is funny, sweet, caring and we have a great time together but finances are an issue.

      He has child support to pay for another 5 years,  has 40k in CC debt/car loan  but does  own his home.  However; that home is in total disrepair. His central air broke and he cant afford to fix it.  He uses a window unit now. He can afford to give his college daughter $$ every time she whines but yet he expects me to pay for most of the meals and dates we go on. He also pays for all of his younger daughters clothes, school tuition, medical bills, cell phone bill, games, and everything else she needs. His ex wife makes like $10 an hour and  never has money so he has to pay for EVERYTHING for his 13 year old daughter. His ex wife still depends on him to fix anything that breaks around her household even though she is remarried  but her new spouse  doesn’t work.

      I hate debt but yet he seems to think it is normal to have that much debt. He recently wanted to purchase a camper and said  he would take on the “loan”   or I could  pay for it. I declined.

      He recently made a comment that if we get married we can split the finances and pay off his debt! Also made a comment that married couples can get 1/2 of their spouses pre marital assets and properties. WHAT???

      You think I am sticking around? I am tucking my tail and  running! I will look for someone who makes  six figures  and  understands finances.


      1. 19.1.1

        Salary and debt aren’t the same. I don’t know if it is normal for anyone to have 40K in CC debt. . He just sounds like a financially irresponsible guy with a decent income that allowed him to make bad decisions.  I wouldn’t date a woman that had those issues either. But the solution isn’t really that you need to find a guy making more money. 80K a year isn’t chump change. A person could make what you make and still have the same issues. I wouldn’t worry about the 6 figure part, but the financial understanding component is very important.

        1. Stilllooking


          I agree with the salary/debt not the same. All I am saying is that we are not on the same financial level and he will not be out from under it for a very long time. If ever.

          I was married for 24 years to a man who made the same income as me and understood  financial issues. We were on level playing fields. I have discovered in my line of business the more money someone makes,  GENERALLY the more they understand debt to income ratio.

          I am not  willing to take on someone’s debt (I wasn’t part of his bad decisions) and the idea he still wanted to take on more is just too much for me.  His lack of good financial  behavior  would be a potential disaster down the road for all involved.

          $80k is not chump change but 40k in cc/car debt = 1/2 of his salary a year. That does not include his mortgage. =-(   That is  not chump debt.

      2. 19.1.2

        You are drawing a fallacious conclusion that earning less money equals having debt and earning a lot of money equals having no debt. People can be irresponsible anywhere on the earning spectrum and they can also be extremely financially savvy.

        I have never earned (and likely will never) six figures annually in my life but I have zero debt. Up until last year I did have a mortgage but that’s paid off. I also have a ton of savings. Meanwhile some of the people I know in the greatest debt are the highest earners. Because they like to show off what they have, even if they technically don’t have it.

        Basically my point is, by all means seek out someone who understands finances (in fact I tend to think that’s a must personally but everyone has their own wants and needs). But this notion you will find it easier to find such a person because he earns six figures makes no sense.

        1. Christine

          I agree that income level and financial responsibility aren’t always one and the same.   The most frugal and responsible friend I have doesn’t make six figures–but, she is very sensible with what she does have.   She is careful about not spending beyond her means and saving enough money for emergencies.

          On the other hand, I also have other friends who make much more, but also are far more extravagant and spend it as fast as they earn it (i.e. routinely going on expensive trips, buying designer bags, etc.). They almost act as if the money will rot if they don’t use it right away!   I also know another couple where they each make $300K–but also are about that much in debt, from extravagant purchases.

          Unfortunately there is no surefire way to discern financial responsibility (or lack thereof) just from looking at the bottom line income.   I think people need to just do what I did–just observe someone very carefully and find out the answer over time, after accumulating enough observations.

        2. stilllooking


      3. 19.1.3

        Run.   You do not want someone who is trying to only elevate his life.   If you meet someone who makes less and you feel the relationship is based on love and caring it should not be an issue.

        There is a however to this.   There could be a difference in lifestyles.   She might like to go to restaurants that are $50-100 per person and he goes to restaurants that are $20 per person.   She might want to go to Europe or someplace and stay in a $400 per night hotel and he feels a $100 per night hotel is a splurge.   Neither person should compromise his or her life and the financial gap might be too large.

  20. 20

    Oops, make that “women do not want to date MEN who earn less”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *